The Return Of The Santa Fe Super Chief

Fiction - Inspirational
220 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Return of The Santa Fe Super Chief is an inspirational contemporary fiction novel written by Douglas Folsom. Roger Storm has a nice little house in Malibu, a gorgeous and funny fiancee, and is considered a wunderkind by his bosses. He’s not impressed when his limousine service to the airport is hijacked and he ends up at the train station, nor does he seriously consider the proposition, Mr. Chapman, the driver, makes to him. There’s no reason why he should even care about The Santa Fe Super Chief, and the concept of personally bankrolling the restoration and running of an entire train is absurd. But those memories of his father and sitting on the bench they made together, waiting for his dad's train to pass by, still linger, no matter how hard he’s suppressed them. Before he knows it, he’s started the renovation process, quit his job and lost his fiancee, and things are getting very interesting indeed.

Douglas Folsom’s inspirational contemporary fiction offering, The Return of The Santa Fe Super Chief is heartwarming and exciting. I quickly began looking forward to seeing the train pictures that begin each chapter and found myself getting caught up in the romance and mystique of the old train. Folsom writes simply and eloquently and continuing to read his tale took precedence over just about everything else. He integrates Roger’s memories of the past with his present smoothly, and I found myself looking forward to reading more about his father and the life they had before Roger's mother took him away with her. This is one of those feel-good books you’ll want to share with others; it’s got the magical fantasy of Field of Dreams and the nostalgia of yesteryear beautifully synchronized. It’s most highly recommended.

Gisela Dixon

The Return Of The Santa Fe Super Chief by Douglas Folsom is a unique, fascinating story with mystical undertones. The story is narrated in a fun, inventive way and begins with an introduction to Roger Storm. Roger Storm is a man living in Los Angeles who, on the surface, has everything: a career, success, love. Roger works as an executive and is engaged to a beautiful woman named Brook. However, all is not as it seems and he is unhappy at times without knowing why. We also learn about Roger’s family background, about his parents’ divorce, and the fact that his father used to work with trains. Roger’s life takes a dramatic turn when he is offered a unique opportunity to revive and restore the historic luxury train, the Santa Fe Super Chief, for one more run between Los Angeles and Chicago. Roger accepts, and what happens next as he accepts, makes all of the arrangements, and sets off on his journey is a superb mix of a murder mystery, romance, the supernatural, and mysticism.

The Return Of The Santa Fe Super Chief by Douglas Folsom is a delightful book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was great to see all of the old historic photos from the bygone era of railroads and passenger trains, and learn a bit about what life must have been like during those times. The central character of Roger Storm is superbly drawn and I found it easy to empathize with him. I also enjoyed the element of mysticism that pervades the book, making one pause and reflect on life in general. This is a wonderful read overall, one that is fun and meaningful at the same time.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

The Return of the Santa Fe Super Chief by Douglas Folsom is a tale extraordinaire. “There is more to the world than meets the eye.” An “aha” moment, an epiphany or illusion? Regardless of your definition of the event, Roger Storm has a rare encounter with a mysterious man. Roger is a top executive for a major airline. He is engaged, wealthy, living in luxury, speeding through life in a time warp. But, he is miserable - life had taken its toll. Mr. Chapman, the mystery man, tells Roger to “bring back the Super Chief for one trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.” A ridiculous command? Or a life changing event? Surrendering to the call, Roger hopes “this train ride is a long day’s journey into the light,” not the night. Roger invests his heart, soul and money into this endeavor. This proves not to be just another train ride. It is a reconciliation of relationships, the realization of dreams, a journey of self discovery.

Douglas Folsom brings back a piece of Americana in The Return of the Santa Fe Super Chief. There is a sense of awe held within its pages. The story is told using the omniscient point of view of a narrator. Answering their unspoken questions and hinting at things to come, the narrator speaks directly to his audience. This playwright technique is delightful, adding to the nostalgic mood of the story. The cast of characters is well rounded. Each character has their own individual story within the story. As a reader, you are bound to relate to one of them. Folsom creates a comforting narrative, with many threads of insightful truth woven into the plot. Although romantic and inspirational, this novel is a train enthusiast’s dream come true. Folsom knows his train history. The Return of the Santa Fe Super Chief reminds us to slow down, look beyond what is seen, and to “enjoy the journey” of life.